Master of Arts; Doctor of Philosophy, Trinity College, University Cambridge, England.
He has been the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge since 1 July 2015. He was previously Professor of Natural Philosophy and Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Edinburgh. His scientific work is varied, but focuses on the theory of soft matter, such as polymers, colloids, gels, liquid crystals, and granular material.
A frequent goal is to create a mathematical model that predicts the stress in a flowing material as a functional of the flow history of that material.
Such a mathematical model is called a constitutive equation. Recently he has worked on theories of active matter, particularly dense suspensions of self-propelled particles which can include motile bacteria.
Cates was born on 5 May 1961. He read Natural Sciences and earned a Doctor of Philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1985, where he studied with Sam Edwards.
Cates was a Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge before moving to Edinburgh in 1995.
He is currently an elected member of the Council of the Royal Society, and has been an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge since 2013.